Rethink that energy drink

The allure of reaching for an energy drink when you need that quick pick-me-up jolt is very seductive.  But don’t be sucked in to their promises of increased alertness, a boost to your workout or improving your health.  Face reality.   A steady diet of energy drinks means a steady stream of health issues.  It’s time to kick the can.  Here’s why energy drinks can spell disaster:

Rethink that energy drink

·      Yes, they give you an instant adrenaline rush jolt that coffee doesn’t.  But at a price.  Thanks to their overload of their most active ingredient – caffeine - energy drinks will fire up your anxiety to sky high levels.  Not exactly a good trade off.

·      Speaking of caffeine, ranges vary depending on the brand.  Some may have just 50 milligrams while others pack up to 215 mg.  An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains roughly 100 mg.  Most health professionals advise to limit caffeine to 400 mg a day.  If you’re guzzling can after can, you’ll greatly exceed that limit.

·      If energy drinks were sipped like coffee, they maybe wouldn’t be quite the problem they are.  Typically they are gulped down instead of slowing sipping.  This quick delivery gets into a person’s system fast causing issues.

·      Heart palpitations, hand or body tremors, raising systolic blood pressure and potentially causing triggering fatal irregular heartbeats, are possible issues experienced by some people. 

·      If combined with alcohol, watch out.  Although dangerous on their own, energy drinks and alcohol make a perilous combination.  Mixing alcohol and caffeine makes a person think they are sharper than they are but they will still have the judgement of someone drunk.

·      All those fancy extra ingredients energy drinks brag about – like vitamins, amino acids, and botanicals – contribute little to making you more peppy or enhancing concentration. It is far better and wiser to get your necessary nutrients packaged naturally found in healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables. 

·      The sugar content is another serious factor found in energy drinks.  An 8.4 ounce of Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar.  That large influx of sugar flooding your bloodstream will spike your blood glucose causing you to eventually have an energy crash while also causing your body to store more fat.

·      Forget about getting a good night’s sleep.  Energy drinks are known for revving up alertness by having a stimulating effect on brain neurons.  If you’re going to drink one, do so in the morning or early afternoon so your ability to fall asleep will not be disturbed.

·      Energy drinks provide you with more than just energy – calories.  The calories are from the sugar content and if you’re throwing back several cans a day, there’s a good chance it’ll show up in increased weight gain. 

·      Here’s another threat to your health energy drinks contribute to – rotted teeth.  The problem is due to the double-whammy of having an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH of as low as 2.9.  To put that in perspective, battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (a low number means a higher acid content).  Stomach acid has a pH fluctuating between 1.0 and 3.0 whereas a lemon comes in at around 2.0.  All that downing of energy drinks creates acidic activity in the mouth promoting tooth decay.  Protect teeth by drinking water after drinking an energy drink to dilute the acid covering your teeth.  This also helps increase saliva production helping protect enamel.